Turkish Court Suspends Funding for Pro-Kurdish Party

Image copyright: Reuters [via Al Jazeera]

The Facts

  • Turkey's Constitutional Court on Thursday ruled 8-7 in favor of freezing Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) bank accounts holding treasury funds while a case on banning the party over alleged ties to the terrorist-designated Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) continues.

  • This decision, which deprives the second-largest opposition group in the Turkish parliament of key revenue ahead of June's general elections, comes as the HDP was reportedly due to receive $29M in treasury funding this year.

The Spin

Establishment-critical narrative

This temporary freezing of funds is just the latest step in the ongoing battle to combat the HDP's long list of wrongdoings. The party has long colluded with the terrorist PKK and its affiliated groups, transferring taxpayer money to and actively providing personnel in defiance of the democratic and universal rules of law to undermine the unity of the Turkish state.

Pro-establishment narrative

The continuous attempt to dissolve or otherwise limit the HDP — including through the dismissal of dozens of HDP politicians from office since 2015 — undermines the ability of Turkish voters to chose their representation, and is thus an attack on democracy and pluralism. This latest move must be condemned.

Cynical narrative

The court has clearly become an election tool for the ruling government; it's no coincidence that it ruled this way just months before general elections despite rejecting the same request twice in the past year.

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